New building official appointed

John Scarffe, Gilpin County.  The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners appointed a new chief building official following the retirement of County Community Development Director Tony Petersen during a regular meeting at 9 a.m. on September 26, 2017, at the Gilpin County Courthouse. The Board also accepted a final plat with a conservation easement, approved participation in an abuse and neglect hotline and gave updates on historic preservation and I-70 projects.


Board Chair Gail Watson introduced a resolution appointing a County building official who will direct County building inspecting and permitting. On January 10, 2017, the Board appointed Tony Petersen, then community development director, as the County’s building inspector, according to the resolution.


The community development director has previously retained qualified, independent contractors to conduct building inspections. Petersen delegated the authority to review and sign building permits to his staff.


Petersen retired as Gilpin County Community Development Director on September 8, 2018, after 19 years of service, Watson said. According to the resolution, the Board is not appointing a new chief building inspector at this time.


“Instead, the Board appoints Daniel Horn as the chief building official to oversee the functions of the building inspector and building permit review, signing and inspection process in addition to his customary functions in the community development department,” according to the resolution.


Horn will not undertake any building inspections but will retain independent contractors with expertise to conduct inspections. The Board further authorizes Horn to oversee the building permit review and signing process.


Commissioner Linda Isenhart moved to appoint Horn as the chief building official and the Board approved the motion.


Horn presented the final plat and deed of conservation easement for the Sayre and Moody Subdivision in Los Lagos Ranch. Robert Sayre and Bonney Sayre Moody each own one 35-acre parcel in north Gilpin County.


The sites are part of a privately held, family owned homestead commonly referred to as Los Lagos Ranch, Horn wrote. The applicants would like to divide their 70 acres via a minor subdivision exemption into four parcels averaging about 17.5 acres.


All parcels would be accessed by private roads. Utilities would include telephone and electric extended on an individual basis. Water and sanitation would be provided by individual well and septic. Each tract would include a building envelope in which all structures would be located.


The total area of all four building envelopes would not exceed seven acres being 10 percent of the total 70 acres. A conservation easement would be granted to Gilpin County preserving all lands outside of the building envelopes. The easement would prohibit future land divisions including subdivision and subdivision exemption.


Watson said the attorney has reviewed it, so this is just a formality. Isenhart said:


“I’m glad they are doing the conservation easement for our environment.” Horn said, “That’s a large conservation easement and beneficial for the County.”


The Board approved the subdivision request and a boundary line elimination for John Coombs, combining lots eight and nine into one lot, now referred to as Snowline Ranch Estates Lot A. Coombs wants to consolidate his two lots into one.


Human Services Director Betty Donovan presented a memorandum of understanding for participation in a state hotline for abuse and neglect of children and adults. The centralized Child Welfare Hotline was implemented in January 2015, Donovan wrote. “The Hotline County Connection Center (HCCC) is now fully staffed and able to handle Gilpin County’s calls for child welfare and adult protection.”


The cost to the County would be under $200 in the child welfare category, Donovan wrote, with no cost in 2017. Calls from the hotline are now handled internally by both Departments, so the hotline will decrease calls to the front desk and dispatch.


“This has been going back and forth for a while,” Donovan told the Board. People can call the regular phone line or they can talk to a case manager. This will decrease dispatch and increase on-call workers.


For this coming year, there will be no charge, but then a $22 charge for each referral, totaling about 176, will be in effect. “I think it will be more advantageous for us. It will increase joint investigations with law enforcement, and we will have a partnership with the Sheriff’s Department,” Donovan said.


The Board approved the MOU.


Watson said a privately-owned piece of land near Rollinsville has been a social access trail. The owner tried to sell the land to the U.S. Forest Service, and they declined, so the owners put up no-trespassing signs.


A community resident who wishes to remain anonymous would donate money for the purchase of that land, Watson said. The Board would have to pass a resolution and would need to agree this would be of benefit. They would pay the title insurance, and if it needs a survey, that should be their expense. They think a quit claim deed would be better.


Insenhart said, “I like it.” She was just there with Forest Service personnel, and it’s a very funky piece of land. “I think it would be a very generous thing to do.”
Engels said: “I think it’s a great idea. This would kind of be a first step toward a Gilpin County open space program. We should think about properties that are scattered about and start thinking about an open space program.”


Watson suggested asking the County attorney to work with the greater Rollinsville community and the donor.


Watson said Corona Heights is having shooting issues, and she has reached out to find out how Sugarloaf stopped shooting in that area. “At some point, we’re going to have some meetings,” Watson said.


Sheriff Bruce Hartman said officers cannot restrict shooting on private property. “We cannot stop someone from shooting on their own property.” They restricted hunting on public areas.


Hartman talked to Boulder County Sheriff Pelle, and they don’t go to private residences if they get a complaint. Watson said we have no ability to stop it and there are very unhappy residents. Hartman said, “I totally understand that, but it gets into a much bigger picture with private property.”


Engels suggested putting up additional signage around speed limits and being a good neighbor when you are shooting on private property.


The Board received a letter from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) regarding bridge repair on I-70. Engels said this is simply fixing the bridges separate from the larger I-70 project.


CDOT would like to initiate a bridge repair project on Interstate 70 in Clear Creek County, according to the letter. The first location for the project is on eastbound and westbound I-70 over Soda Creek at mile marker 240.5.


The second location is on the westbound I-70 bridge over U.S. 6 and Clear Creek at mile marker 244. CDOT required whether a project leadership team should be formed for the project and if so what representatives the Board would send.


Former County Manager Roger Baker served as the representative on the I-70 Committee, Watson said. Engles asked if a project leadership team needs to be formed. Can we just move forward with bridge repairs instead of a big repair project?


The kickoff was two weeks ago and another meeting is scheduled for the next day. The Board assigned County Manager Leslie Klusmire as the representative until a community development director is hired.


Engles said the meeting is tomorrow, and you are listed on the technical committee. Klusmire said she will probably delegate it in the future but will attend the meeting for now.


Engels said that he is quite happy to continue in that role. The bridge repairs can proceed, making sure they are safe and passable until the larger project is underway.


Watson said she had communications with the owners of the Red Tail Road cabins. The two cabins each have stoves and they want $2,000 each for them as a separate purchase from the cabins. “I think we’re going to have our hands full with the stabilization. We’re in agreement not to do it.”


The Board previously agreed to purchase both of the Red Tail Road Cabins. Owners of the Red Tail cabins, located off Robinson Hill Road, wanted to move or demolish the cabins. The County has been interested in preserving the cabins.


Engels said he had a complaint from a property owner who had storm water running on to his property, and he asked staff to see if we could mitigate.


Klusmire said that a development code rule requires that you can’t cause any change to drainage on adjacent property and you are responsible for mitigating it.


Engles said there should be something on the books.


County Attorney Jim Petrock said that you don’t want to get involved in drainage issues. The law is you can’t change existing drainage.


Klusmire asked, “How do we enforce that? I sent the building inspector out to look. The owner is re-grading property, and it has changed the drainage.” Engels said it is blocking a county-maintained culvert and material is backing up.


Petrock said: “We’re talking about common law drainage. You can’t take any action to change drainage. It’s a civil dispute.”


Klusmire asked if they couldn’t incorporate it into a County ordinance. It can cause a lot of serious damage, and we don’t have any way to deal with it.


Engles said he is moving egregious quantities of dirt, and it looks like a moonscape up there. “I was hoping the Board could direct staff to investigate a potential remedy to have something moving forward so when this happens again we would have an understanding of how it impacts.”


Klusmire said, “I see it as a big problem because we’re changing the landscape and I’m not sure what we can do about it.”


Engels asked if the Board is okay with directing staff to find a solution. Watson said, “It sounds like staff has already been directed.” Isenhart said, “I think we need to look into it and get it taken care of.”


(Originally published in the October 5, 2017, print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)